From their fathers,
some people inherit mustaches,
beer bellies, rounded shoulders,
a pigeon-toed right foot,
some money, or a half-blind right eye,
or maybe a gruff voice
that makes everything you say
sound like a grunting boxer.
Although this might be a poor man’s
biological sketch of you,
(although, for your sake, I left out the fact
that you have a vasectomy)
my body is mostly George-free.
Instead, the only one of your genetic
guerrillas able to sneak past Mom’s nuclear tanks
is a sensitivity to find almost anything amusing,
along with a slight crease on my cheeks:
while Mom handed down eyes, teeth,
mild athletic ability and a conscience,
you gave me a smirk.
It’s funny how nature works sometimes –
one might think I’m the product
of a skinny, ambitious mailman
or butler if it weren’t for the goofy smile
marking me a real Leonard.
Because the thing is,
I don’t plan on being fat and hairy,
or getting divorced,
or having that weird
half-afro mullet that you’ve been
rockin’ my whole life.
Most of the day annoyance
sits uneasily on my face
like cranky buoys on a choppy bay.
But as I stand in the bathroom
brushing my teeth and something
stupid catches me funny, my face unzips itself
and I see you.
Kevin Leonard is a poet living in Rockaway Beach, NY. He has a writing degree from SUNY Oswego, plays men’s league hockey, and has three brothers.